We have a few topics ongoing about subjective questions and what is and is not on-topic.

We also have lots of questions coming in that specifically ask for the "best", "easiest", etc?

A couple of superlatives would have definite answers such as "cheapest" but most must depend on the tastes and preferences of each asker and each answerer.

Should we try to tackle this some way before it gets out of hand?

Or should we just ease this aspect of the policy for this SE? Some of these questions and answers are getting plenty of votes.

I've provided an answer below with lists of subjective and nonsubjective questions worded with superlatives. I may have interpreted some differently to you. Please feel free to comment on specific ones offering a better wording if you think they are good questions that need not be subjective.

3 Answers 3


FWIW, the system does some checking for this automatically - titles containing "best" and a few other words will result in a warning:

The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed.

Of course, folks tend to just ignore this.

If you come across a question with a tile like this, I recommend editing it. See if you can come up with something that captures the intent of the asker in a form that can actually be answered with facts and experiences rather than opinions.

  • I prefer that we ask the OP to edit his own question. There's less chance of semantic drift and I think it's friendlier. But either way I'd like something closer to a policy and less like the current seemingly arbitrary and polarizing immediate closing or massive upvote. Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 6:40
  • 1
    @hippietrail: you're free to leave suggestions if you aren't comfortable editing, but I hope you reconsider: good titles are a huge asset to any website, both in terms of helping searchers find what they're after and in setting expectations for readers. Whenever you have the time and opportunity to improve a title or tags - even if you can't do anything with the rest of the post - please do so!
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 20:58
  • I do edit a lot of tags and I fix some typos or add important words from the body of questions to the question titles but beyond that I prefer to help the newbies by teaching them to help themselves. If I can. But since what's on or off topic seems so fuzzy and unpredictable on our particular SE I don't feel comfortable "being bold" at this point. Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 22:24

I think we should point out in FAQ what users should avoid such superlatives words as best, etc. People vote up not because they think question is made according to FAQ but because they think: "Oh, look, I really want to know all of variants about this".

May be we should create community wiki posts (or posts on meta) where we can store all such questions.

  • I could link to a few examples if it helps. This seems to be a bigger problem here than in the other sites I've been involved with so it's perhaps the nature of travel questions. Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 17:44
  • No, no. I completely agree - it is a problem. I've already flag and comment some of such questions. I think it is only because travel is for everyone, and not many people read the FAQ :)
    – VMAtm
    Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 17:46

Here are some examples which look subjective to me - should I flag them as such?

Or can you suggest a less subjective rewording?

Here are some examples which use superlatives but are probably not subjective. Agree or disagree?

(this is a community wiki so feel free to add to each list)

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    Disagree with this: What time of year is best for taking the Trans-Siberian Express? - I think this is very good question, because user asks for help for known route. May be we should rephrase that question.
    – VMAtm
    Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 18:14
  • I didn't sort the lists by what I felt were good questions but by whether they were worded subjectively by my reading (which wasn't always easy). I'll edit the answer to solicit reworded versions which don't sound subjective. Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 6:42

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